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Taking its cue from a recent ESPN study finding that 31 percent of men are doing the shopping for their families -- up from just 14 percent in the 1980s -- Westside Market NYC this week rolled out a Man Aisle, which CEO George Zoitas describes as “a place where males can go within the store that features items that they are interested in.”
Shoppers at Westside Market’s 110th street location in Manhattan can now make a beeline for such typically masculine items as barbecue items, hot sauces, beer, cereal, soda, beef jerky in one place (left) that's thoughtfully located right across from the beer aisle.
“If we find that customers are responding to the aisle positively and are using it, we will certainly consider keeping it as a permanent feature and expanding the area within the store,” Zoitas told Progressive Grocer. “We will also be looking to our customers for feedback on the products currently available in the Man Aisle and see if they wanted anything added or replaced -- this is for them, so we want it to have the products they want most.”
He added that the chain would also consider rolling the concept out to its three other locations, all in Manhattan: “Like with our 110th street store, we will start with a smaller section of an aisle and then expand based upon the local customer feedback.”
According to Zoitas: “Overall customer reaction has been positive. Men like that they have an area within the store that speaks to them, and women hope that this aisle will convince their husbands/boyfriends/sons to come and do the grocery shopping.”
Additionally, to help men who are shopping for their families, Westside Market has created a “Men’s Supermarket Survival Guide,” which includes tips and tricks for saving time, money and picking out the best ingredients. Among the hints offered to the inexperienced male shopper are to make a list before setting out, compare prices to get the best bargains, and learn the store layout to facilitate the quickest trip possible.